Lifford Celtic came from behind to deny Glenea United victory in the big game in the Brian McCormick Premier Division on Sunday.
On a day that was not suitable for good football, Kerrykeel and Bonagee were involved in a cracker in Division One, sharing six goals.
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Glenea United 2
Lifford Celtic 2
In wintry condition for football Glenea continued their unbeaten run in the league but were unable to claim victory against Lifford. Playing with the wind it was the home side that started brightest and on five minutes they took the lead from a Sean Coll free-kick. Glenea extended their lead on fifteen minutes when a Ryan McFadden corner wasn’t cleared properly and Sean Coll drove the ball home. Glenea continued to dominate proceeding but were unable to find a third goal with Kevin Mulhern coming closest when his strike from twenty yards was well saved by Lee White.
In the second half Glenea continued to control the game and were unlucky not to increase their lead with Ryan McFadden, Donal Coll and Sean McBride all going close to scoring. Lifford came close on sixty five minutes when a Kevin Mc Brearty free-kick was well saved by Joe Coll.
Lifford were handed a lifeline on eighty five minutes when the home side hesitated on a through ball and Mark Neeson was on hand to slot the ball home. Lifford equalised late into injury time when the home defence failed to clear and Mark Neeson forced the ball home. Best for Glenea were Sean Coll and Sean Mc Bride, while Lee White was best for Lifford. Referee: Kevin Logue.
St. Catherines 2
Cranford United 2
The Saints played host to Cranford United in their first league outing of the New Year and it ended in a two all draw. The game started off at top speed with both teams going at it hard and fast and there were only four minutes gone when Cranford opened the scoring after a mix up in the Saints’ defence. Seamie Friel pounced on the error and walked the ball into an open net.
Saints pressed for the equaliser and on twenty minutes a corner from Stephen Leslie found the head of a Cranford defender and fell to the back of the net. The game was end to end with chances falling to both sets of strikers and it was Cranford who regained the lead on thirty minutes when Kyle Black scored a spectacular volley from twenty five yards looping over the Saints keeper.
The second half started off at a blistering pace with tackles, shots and decisions being fought for at every chance given. Cranford defended bravely but on fifty minutes The Saints equalised through Christopher Murrin when he pounced on a scramble in the box to toe poke the ball through a mass of legs.
The last 40 minutes were contested with high intensity and counter attack after counter attack from both sides but no player could take advantage of the half chances created. Team performance from both sides. Referee: Liam Farren
Kilmacrennan Celtic 0
Milford United 4
Milford United came out on top of the local derby with a good victory over Kilmacrennan Celtic with the visitors giving up home advantage and travelling to Moyle Park. Milford took the lead on six minutes when Joey Cullen headed home a perfect cross from Gary Merritt. Kilmacrennan playing with the wind in the first half created a few half chances but failed to score.
Milford were always in control with a good hard working performance. Cathal Mc Gettigan’s shot from 18 yards was deflected past the keeper on sixty minutes to give Milford a commanding lead. Gary Merrit slotted home a twenty yard free kick on seventy minutes and Lee Burke tapped home from eight yards following good work by Jamie Heena and Damian Casey. Good team performance by the <ilford Men.
Referee: Marty Mc Garrigle
Gweedore Celtic 1
Donegal Town 1
Playing with a strong wind Donegal Town forced a series of corners in the opening minutes of the game that were dealt with by the home defence. Gweedore had the best chance of the first half when Colin Ferry fired off the post from twenty yards following good interplay with Tomas Diver. Donegal Town created their first clear chance on thirty five minutes following a break down the right but McKelvey got down well to block. With the home side defending well against the wind the away team were restricted to a number of long distance efforts.
The home side started the second half strongly, creating a number of half-chances. The breakthrough came on fifty minutes when Colin Ferry shot past the keeper. The home side were well on top at this stage but Donegal scored following a counter-attack with Declan Brown’s deflected shot going beyond the home keeper. Donegal Town then had the better of the chances in the final ten minutes but were unable to convert. Best for Gweedore Celtic: Chris Porter and Colin Ferry. Good team performance from Donegal Town. Referee: Ed Moore
Rathmullan Celtic 3
Curragh Athletic 0
Rathmullan Celtic strengthened their grip at the top of the Premier Division after a dominant performance against bottom of the table Curragh in atrocious conditions at the Flagpole Field. The wind and rain howled around the Seaside venue as the home side enjoyed long spells of possession and territorial advantage against their hard-working opponents. Dara Patton gave the league leaders a deserved one-goal advantage at the break and once Eoin Sheridan lashed home a second on the hour mark the points were all but secured. Veteran striker Eamonn Sheridan capped another fine display with a solo effort to make it three for the Hoops.
The first goal arrived on twenty minutes. Oisin McMenamin spun away from his marker and released Eamonn Sheridan down the right hand channel. His low cross was clinically dispatched high into the net by Dara Patton as the home side’s front three combined to great effect. Curragh were struggling to impose themselves on the game and whilst they forced a corner on the half hour, the home rearguard marshalled by Kieran Gorman were able to snuff out the threat.
After the break it was very much more of the same with Rathmullan doing all the pressing but while the game remained at 1-0 there was still tension amongst the Seaside faithful. With an hour on the clock the issue was settled. Eamonn Sheridan was once more the provider, playing a diagonal ball this time from the left hand side to match the run of Eoin Sheridan. From about 12-yards the in-rushing midfielder fired into the roof of the net to double the lead. Eamonn added his name to the scoresheet soon after, beating his man for pace on the edge of the box before firing across goal into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
On the day, Eamonn Sheridan, Aaron Mc Clafferty and Oisin McMenamin impressed for the Hoops while Lennon Mc Devitt and Shane Barclay worked industriously for the visitors on a difficult afternoon for football. Referee: Mick Lagan
Watson Hire Division One
Castlefin Celtic 3
Keadue Rovers 1
An even first half in wet and windy conditions at Park View saw both teams creating chances but neither team able to make them count. Both teams struggled to stay on the ball for long with sloppy passing. The best of the chances falling to Keadue. Castlefin could have taken the lead minutes before half time only for JP Malley to see his shot go slightly over the bar. The second half started brightly with Keadue breaking the deadlock three minutes after the re-start. The ball fell perfectly to Ryan Green who found himself well positioned inside the box. Green finished from close range with no mistake.
Castlefin’s equaliser came on sixty one minutes after PJ McMenamin found JP Malley who tapped home. Castlefin took the lead five minutes later when a Michael Dunnion cross from the right found Damien Mc Anenny unmarked in front of goal. He casually rolled the ball into the net. Keadue looked hard for an equaliser, creating chances only to find the Castlefin keeper Anthony O’Hagan in good form. Castlefin made it 3-1 on seventy five minutes when JP Malley deservedly got his second goal. Malley chipped the Keadue keeper to finish well from the edge of the box. Castlefin held out to take all 3 points.
Referee: Paddy Duffy. Best for Castlefin: Aaron O’Hagan. Best for Keadue: Team Performance.
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 3
Bonagee United 3
Paddy O’ Loan shot wide from six yards on three minutes after a cross from the right by Darren Coyle. Kerrykeel took the lead on seven minutes when a cross into the box from Mark Friel was hammered home from Kevin Loughery. Darren Hunter and Paddy Mc Laughlin for the home team saw their shots on twelve minutes and fifteen minutes just go wide of the post.
Paddy Mc Granaghan came close on twenty three minutes but the Bonagee keeper saved from ten yards. Johnathon Friel saw his header saved on thirty minutes from a Mc Granaghan corner. Bonagee levelled the match on forty three minutes when after good play by Noel O’ Donnell and Darren Coyle down the left O’Donnell cut inside the defender and hammered home from fifteen yards. Kerrykeel started the better team in the second half and again Carr in the home goal made great saves from Mc Granaghan, Friel and Loughery.
Kerrykeel went ahead on fifty five minutes when a Marty Mc Ateer cross from the right was headed home by Johnathon Friel. Bonagee levelled the game on the hour when a Noel O’ Donnell strike came off the crossbar and Ciaran Gibson headed home from six yards. Bonagee went ahead on eighty minutes when a great ball from Darren Coyle found Garry Patton who broke clear and shot past the keeper to the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. Paddy Mc Granaghan got the final goal of the game on eighty nine minutes after he broke down the right beat the defender and shot from fifteen yards to the bottom corner of the net. Referee: Marty Quinn. Team efforts by both sides.
Cappry Rovers 1
Gweedore United 1
(Abandoned at half time)
This game was abandoned in the 43rd minute due the pitch becoming unplayable. The game was 1-1 at the time. Cappry thought they had taken the lead in the 2nd minute when Alan Patton saw his header cleared off the line.
Gweedore took the lead when Ciaran Mc Fadden scored following a good turn and shot. Cappry pressed hard for an equaliser. Darren O’Leary went close for the home side. Cappry got level in the 32nd minute from Darren O’Leary’s penalty after Kevin Mc Glynn was fouled in the box.
Referee: Victor Rainey
Drumoghill F.C. 2
Lagan Harps 0
Drumoghill FC consolidated their position at the top of the table with this hard-earned victory over their nearest and fiercest rivals Lagan Harps.
In the end it was second half strikes from the O’Donnell brothers, Liam and Chris, that proved the difference between the sides. This was a game played on a heavy pitch in terrible weather conditions which made it almost impossible for good football to be played, and it was no surprise that both goals came from set pieces.
It took until the 66th minute for the deadlock to be broken and when it did, it came from Drumoghill’s captain and warrior for all conditions Chris O’Donnell who bravely rose highest to nod home Michael Doherty’s free kick. It was to be his last contribution though as he sustained a nasty head injury that ended his afternoon.
The game become more open as a consequence of Lagan going behind as Chris Toner and Brian Kelly became more of a threat. Eunan Diver was their best player on the day but despite his prompting from midfield they struggled to fashion anything that threatened an equaliser. Any chance of a comeback though was squashed on 79 minutes with an almost identical goal from the home side. This time the provider was Kevin Kelly, whose delivery seemed to sail directly into the net but the slightest of final touches was applied by Liam O’Donnell and there was no way back for Lagan.
Referee: Joe McHugh.
CT Ball Division Two
Deele Harps 4
Glenree United 3
Deele welcomed Glenree to the Athletic track amid terrible conditions for football. The home side were doing all the pressing and took the lead when Shane Gallagher opened the scoring in the 30th minute.
The pitch restricted any quality football in what was a real battle in the middle of the field. Glenree equalised against the run of play with a direct free kick on the stroke of half time. In the 50th minute Shane Gallagher applied the pressure which forced an own goal.
A through ball from Eddie Connolly played Gavin Gallagher through on goal and he was hauled down for a penalty which was well saved by the Glenree keeper. In the 65th minute Shane Gallagher grabbed his 2nd goal after good wing play from Daire Kelly. Deele striker Shane Gallagher grabbed his hat - trick in the 75th minute with a fine individual goal to make it 4-1.
Following a flurry of substitutions Deele took their foot off the pedal and conceded 2 preventable late goals. Team performances. Referee: Brian O Kane
Drumbar F.C. 0
Whitestrand United 1
(Abandoned at half time)
This match was abandoned at half time due to the ever decreasing quality of the playing surface. Whitestrand United led one nil at the time.
Convoy Arsenal 0
Raphoe Town 2
It was a cold and wet Sunday in Orchard Park, Convoy. The game started very cagey with both teams battling in the middle of the pitch. The first half passed without any clear cut chances for either side until the 40th minute when the ball broke kindly for Mark Bogle who took it around Gareth Patton in the Convoy net to break the deadlock.
The second half started in much the same manner but another unlucky ricochet for Convoy sent Raphoe through to double their lead via Jamie Gallagher. Convoy fought to get back into the game but couldn’t get a breakthrough. The game finished with Raphoe taking the three points in a 2-0 victory. Best for Raphoe was David Craig with a valiant team effort from Convoy. Referee: Gerry Rodden
Dunlewy Celtic 3
Letterbarrow Celtic 1
In cold wintery conditions it was the home side who started the brighter and took the lead with John Cannon scoring from close range. Letterbarrow almost made it 1-1 but a good goal line clearance form Ciaran Mc Geady kept Dunlewey in front going in at half time.
In the second half Dunlewey made it 2-0 when Paul McFadden scored from just outside the box. James Alcorn then made it 3-0 to the home side.
Letterbarrow did push forward in the last 15 minutes and got their reward when Kevin Mc Brearty scored.
Best for Dunlewey were Daniel Coll and James Alcorn. Team performance from Letterbarrow.